Doubt is good. You read that right. Doses of doubt is healthy. Students doubt all of the time. Do you let them? Or do you try to shove things down their throat with the “right” answer. So what do you do when students are asking some tough questions and are going through a time where their faith is being rocked? This just happened in my small group and we had a pretty sweet discussions all year long.
Here are some things I constantly need to keep in mind when dealing with students and doubt.
It’s going to happen. Student doubt. I bet at some point in your faith you have doubted or questioned what exactly it is you believe. If we know that it is going to happen at some point in our relationship with the students, we should not be shocked or surprised a=or taken back when they do. Our reaction to them doubting is really important.
Students need to feel there is a safe place to do so. when we provide a safe place for student to ask questions of faith it can actually lead to a stronger faith. When they can talk about it they can flesh out a lot of the questions themselves with a leader guiding them, not dictating their beliefs, but helping them talk it out. You would be surprised how much they know already and it is awesome to see the dots connect.
Doubts do not mean they do not believe anymore. It certainly can lead to that, but when my guys comes to me with doubt I always try to be loving and help them walk through it. What I do know that a majority fo the time those students who have a leader that they can go to, and the leader can go find answers together and are able to talk to them in a way that is loving and caring, realizing they are in a vulnerable position, the end result can be the student will walk away with a greater understanding of what they believe.
I point to Psalms. This book is full of people asking tough questions, being frustrating and doubting. I show my students they are not the only ones who do this and can be healthy as long as we are still trying to seek who God is. It is fun to walk through it with them
What else would you add? Is there anything you think would be good to think about when dealing with doubt? I would love to hear.